WASHINGTON, D.C. — After a so-called “twindemic” of COVID-19 and the flu failed to materialize last year, this year’s flu season is expected to roar back.
“Because of all the masks and all the precautions, we basically did not have a flu season,” infectious disease expert Dr. David Dodson said of the last flu season.
This time, however, there are more flu cases.
Dr. Anthony Santella is an infectious disease expert who is also a professor of policy and health administration at the University of New Haven. He says that this year is not one to be messed around with.
“The flu is incredibly difficult to predict,” he said. “I know everyone wants that crystal ball, ‘What’s going to happen? It’s not just COVID, but it is going to happen. And that’s very challenging.”
He indicated that signs and circumstances point to an active, coming flu season.
“Children are back at school,” Dr. Santella said. “People are back at work. People are traveling, socializing and going out to places both in the country and abroad. And that means that those bugs, viruses like what we’re talking about, lots of bacteria and other things are circulating.”
Currently, the CDC monitors confirmed flu cases. Their findings showThe majority of the country is experiencing a low or minimal number of flu cases. Mississippi is however, experiencing moderate flu activity.
Dr. Santella suggested that this could change as people spend more time indoors and the weather becomes colder.
“We know the data is pretty clear this year that people feel burdened, they feel frustrated and they feel tired by continuing to maintain those protective health behaviors,” he said.
Experts recommend that you get a flu shot before October 31st. Flu vaccines are based on flu strains that have been found in other parts.
“This year, they’ve done things a little bit differently, where instead of having some vaccines that protect against two strains and some that protect against four, all four major vaccine candidates protect against all four strains,” Dr. Santella said.
As for those who have yet to get a COVID-19 vaccine, Dr. Santella said it’s safe to get both together.
“You can get them at the same time,” he said. “There’s no harm. There’s no counteracting of the products.”
These are vaccines that can be used to prevent the deadly effects of two viruses.